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Fort Portal city targets French loan to foster urbanization, mitigate climate change

Fort Portal city.

Fort Portal, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Fort Portal city authorities are targeting to benefit from a loan the Ugandan government is set to secure from the French Development Agency in order to address climate change and urbanization with the aim of fostering economic growth in the city.

The funds are aimed at improving the status of four secondary cities namely Fort Portal, Arua, Mbarara, and Soroti as regards to climate change mitigation measures and promoting local economic growth.

In a June 30th, 2022 letter, the Lands, Housing, and Urban Development Ministry says that the government has secured a consortium of consultancy firms to support the elaboration of urban diagnoses, identification of priority investment projects, and conduct of feasibility studies across the selected cities.

“The purpose of this letter, therefore, is to introduce to you representatives from the consulting firms, who will be scheduling visits to the city with objectives to conduct an urban diagnosis with a specific focus on adaptation to climate change and local economic development and identify a preliminary indicative list of areas of investment,” the letter reads in part.

Moses Otimong, the Fort Portal city clerk says that the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development has contracted a French consultancy firm to come up with an assessment on whether the project can be funded with an aim of improving economic development and addressing climatic change come 2023/2024 financial year.

Otimong says the loan will see Fort Portal receive at least Shillings 60 billion to handle specific areas of interest, which include environment conservation and laying strategies for the local economic development of the cities through infrastructure development.

Fort Portal has prioritized the conservation of River Mpanga, the establishment and improvement of markets across the city, and the rehabilitation of roads to ease access to the city centre, which will also promote economic growth through trade.

Joseph Mashuhuko, the Fort Portal City North division mayor, says that the division has already earmarked roads and markets that will be crucial in fostering economic growth in the division, and they are looking forward to receiving the funds.

Edson Asaba Ruyonga, the Fort Portal city mayor says that the funds will enable Fort Portal city improve the status of infrastructure, particularly roads, and also create trade order in order to realize an organized urban set up.

The mayor says as leaders, they are now launching a campaign to mobilize and sensitize the population to prepare to benefit from the opportunities that come along with development. The Fort Portal city mayor is convinced with the tax incentives already in place, the city revenue collection will be boosted if the funds are correctly put to youth.

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